How is everything? I hope all is well at home! This might not be the longest letter, we're a little short on time. We got the opportunity to clean the Provo Temple today! It's been closed since the third week we got here for maintenance and remodeling and everything. We got to go three times but that was it. It was nice to get to go again. The elders worked at the front of the building cleaning all the windows and big glass doors near the front desk and outside. The sisters cleaned the crystal chandeliers. They said that they don't really let the men ever handle those because we have a tendency to be a little less careful with things...I can't really blame them. Afterwards we got to take a little tour of the Temple because it was all shut down for service. We got to see a sealing room, the celestial room, the bride's room, and some other things. the brides room was really cool, it had a big cool chandelier. The lady with us told us when they put that together the girl doing it was so sad because a couple pieces had been lost, but that she later found them stuck in the instruction manual. And they had all the pieces and just the right sizes. The Lord really does bless us.
We got our travel plans last week!! Let's just say we weren't the most focused district in class that day. We leave the 12th of August. We take the Frontrunner (some train thing) to the airport Monday night. We report at the travel office at 5:15. Once at the airport we board our first flight to LAX. That's only like an hour flight. After that we take the longest flight of the bunch from LA to Hong Kong. That's going to be a struggle...it's like a 15 hour flight...with no movies or anything. I'll just study Thai and read the scriptures or something. Hooray.... They tell us to try and sleep when we would according to Thailand time. They're 13 hours ahead of us over there. After Hong Kong we fly over to Bangkok. Altogether I think it's like 18-20 hours of flying. All 22 of the Thai missionaries are flying in the same group. I'm not sure when the best time to call is. Probably at either Salt lake or in LA. I'll plan on calling Mom's cell so just keep that by you!
I'm kinda worried about my weight for suitcases. That carry on will definitely help. It itself is pretty light so that's good. I was so close to 50 on both of the suitcases I brought here, I've gone through some shampoo and a few other things so hopefully there won't be trouble. If there is I'll have to plan on sending some stuff home. The first things to go will probably be a pair of shoes or something I don't need or can find there. I don't think I'll be able to keep all the piano music you sent me...it weighs a lot! If I end up having to send it home I'll keep some pages and send the others home! Natalie did such a good job with the cover it's awesome! Thanks so much for getting those two bags for me! I love the shoulder bag and the duffel bag will work perfectly. I've used it a few times here and its the perfect size. Hopefully it doesn't get mugged off of me in Thailand...
We're all nervous for Thailand. But at the same time I'm so excited! There's so much I don't know, but our amazing teachers have done so much for us and taught us so much! And of course we'll have the Lord on our side to make up all the difference if we're trying our best. I'm nervous about who my senior trainer will be. Some people start off with a native Thai person. That would be hard, but at the same time you would have to pick up on the language so fast. It would be a good thing in the end I think.
Thanks for the pictures in the package! I love them! I might have to send some of those home too...but I''ll save as many as I can! I wish that there wasn't a weight limit...that would be so much easier. I'm not sure how mail works in Thailand. I've heard that letters take 3-4 weeks and packages are sometimes a failure. But emails will always work! Next time you hear from me I'll be all the way around the world! Seriously its pretty much a straight shot!
It's weird to think that everyone is starting up school so soon! It seems like a different world. It kind of is haha. I've felt pretty loved this week with three packages haha. There's no way I'm eating all of this food...but Amanda did send me a little coloring book that I'll definitely do on the plane haha. Our teachers are changing the lessons a little bit to help us really prepare for Thailand. Friday we have "infield orientation" for like 6 hours. Hopefully that's fun! It could be a long day if its all boring stuff.
I love you so much and I'm so grateful for the influence everyone has had in my life. I know that Heavenly Father has our best interests in mind and that when we're following promptings and obeying the spirit we'll always come out on top with His help. I love and miss you! Until next time!
-Elder Josh Keller